Monday, July 5, 2010

Daycare and Cloth 101

When I got a place in daycare for my oldest 2 years ago, it was obvious for me that we would keep using our cloth diapers.

Unfortunately, as I learned along the way, not all daycare centers are willing to change cloth diapers. Here are most frequent reasons I’ve compiled with a few friends:

- We don’t have time to wash them ( They don’t have to… I will)
- It is dirty, unsanitary ( Hey, we wash them… I don’t buy new undies for me every week… I’ve had way more blowout in disposables than cloth)
- They stink ( Not if washed properly… Actually it smells less than a disposable)
- It can spread infections ( I usually don’t bring my kids when they are sick…)
- It is more complicated than disposables ( They don’t know AIOs and pocket diapers…)
- We don’t want to deal with pins ( They don’t know AIOs and pocket diapers…)

Here is what we did to have them ACCEPT our cloth diapers:

• Ask yourself which is you EASIEST-TO-USE aka daddy’s favorite diaper. You know, that pocket or AIO with VELCROS… Caretakers are more willing to accept to use these.
• If you have more than one in this category, choose the prettiest one.
• When you go visit your future daycare center, bring this diaper with you, along with a wetbag.
• Gently ask the caretaker if you can ask her something, and explain that you use cloth at home and were wondering if it is possible to use it there too. SHOW the diaper and how easy to use it is.
• Explain that they only have to throw it in the wet bag, and they don’t even have to empty it. You bring back home the dirty diapers and empty them yourself in the toilet, even BM. The only difference with a disposable is throwing it into a wetbag instead of a diapergenie thing.
• If they have a door to the outside in their room, but no toilet, tell them they can put the bag outside.

Here, I had to ask to the «principal» of the daycare to get a few weeks of tryouts. And in the end they liked it.

My daily checklist:

• 5 clean and ready pocket diapers ( I mostly had Bumgenius diapers in the beginning) in a mesh bag
• 1 small wetbag for dirty diapers
• 1 small jar of cloth compatible diaper rash cream, just in case. Here I needed to have it prescribed by a doctor since I was not using Zincofax…
• A spare pair of pants just in case ( all kids should have that anyways)

A few more tips:

• If it is summer or if you live in a hotter climate (i.e., not in Canada…), you might want to consider having a wetbag that has a zipper so insect won’t go in it. Don’t ask why I know that.
• Having from 12-15 diapers exclusively for daycare is a good idea. From the 5 I leave in the bag in the morning, 3 or 4 are usually dirty at the end of the day, sometimes 5. This way I can wash every 2 or 3 days.
• Same type of closure for all diapers is best. Some will prefer side-snapping or front snapping, others will prefer velcros. Don’t confuse them, stay consistent…
• First diaper in the morning can be whatever closure you like since they only have to take it off.
• Ask them what is their diaper changing routine, how many times a day. It will help you figure out how many diapers you will need.
• Give them a reminder sheet (No zinc, put in the wetbag…)
• Be ready to lose 1 or 2 diapers in the year. When they change 6-7 diapers in a row, they can get distracted.
• Keep you diaper clean and without weird smells.

I hope that help :)

Marie-Aude, from Colibi Créations


  1. I had this come up too when my kids were at my Colleg's daycare. Unfornately it was against state regulations for them to use cloth. I would change my boys from their cloth to disposables then when I picked them up I would put them in their cloth again. Its too bad I could not do cloth since its the best way to diaper a baby.


  2. I think more and more daycare providers are now open to cloth. So many Mama's are making the switch they dont have a choice. Your post is a perfect plan for daycare! Just for fun, I contacted 5 local daycares (annon) and outlined this plan. 4 said yes as they already allow it & Zipper or velcro closure wet bags are a must.
    8 home daycares, 5 said yes and 3 C/D themselves. I was suprised at the numbers. very pleased but suprised


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